Chutes and LaddersI’m not surprised.  I’ve been waiting for an excuse to write about Idol.   Last night, American Idol gave Fox its highest ratings yet in prime time, with a 10.9 rating/16 share according to Nielsen Media Research data, an average of 12 million households tuning into the network, between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m.  This is a Chutes and Ladders game…

Before the season started, last year’s abysmal season made me think that this brand was taking that long chute to the bottom of the gameboard.  It really felt like this brand was on its last legs.  Add in the departure of the “bleeding heart lover of all people” Paula and the “brutally honest and often mean” Simon, the “Paula/Simon” mashup of what’s her name, and the “things you wish would have worked” Ellen, leaving just “middle of the road” Randy… and the show is over, right?

Then they flipped the arrow on the spinner, jumped over the chute (not the shark) and landed at that tall ladder that puts you just a few squares away from the finish line.  Home run!

I have to say that adding Steven Tyler and JLO was one of the best casting decisions EVER.  I think their success is due to the fact that both are performing, A list musicians.  Just watch as the two of them feel the audition singers’ songs.  We get to feel it right along and through them too.  JLO brings Paula’s heart with more cred and without whatever that combination of craziness was. Tyler turns out to come across as a legit rockstar who seems like a really nice guy.  Looks like you don’t have to be mean to give a negative critique.  

I’d like to give a big shout out and thanks to my DVR, without which I would never has seen this season’s American Idol.   The DVR saved you AI!

…and a note for Joe Perry, DUDE this is going to be huge for Aerosmith. You were wrong on this one. 

Read Adweek’s ratings article here.